Sunrise Day Camps

At Sunrise, we believe in the power of smiles, laughter, and friendship.

Our mission is to bring back the joys of childhood to children with cancer and their siblings worldwide, all through the magic of our summer day camps, vacation camps, year-round programs, and in-hospital recreational activities. And yes, all of these are offered free of charge!

Where kids with cancer can just be kids!

Often isolated from the normal activities of childhood, children with cancer rarely have a chance to see beyond the closed worlds of home, hospital, and doctors’ offices. Sunrise Day Camps change that, opening the door to a new world, making it possible for children to enjoy a camp experience filled with exciting daily activities, enduring friendships, and laughter, all while catering to their special medical and emotional needs.

Our day camp programs are offered free of charge on a non-sectarian basis to children ages 3½–16 (ages 3½–18 on Long Island). This includes children who have been in active treatment within the last five years, provided their doctor clears them to participate. For our preschoolers, we offer a modified program specially geared to their age.

Siblings Welcome

At Sunrise, we understand that when a child has cancer, it affects the entire family. Siblings, too, face challenges as the family’s focus turns to the medical needs of their brother or sister. That’s why siblings are always welcome to attend Sunrise Day Camp, whether or not their sibling with cancer can attend. Our camps provide siblings a place to play, interact, and escape from the constant worry often found in a home with a chronically ill child.

Our Vision

We strive for a world where cancer will not be the defining factor in a child’s life. At Sunrise, we aim to provide hope, love, and an extra ray of sunshine to children and families navigating the difficult world of pediatric cancer. We embrace cultural diversity and celebrate every child for their uniqueness.

A Day At A Sunrise Day Camp

From morning greetings filled with smiles, songs, and friendly chatter on the bus, to a day packed with activities of their choice, and a cool summer snack – every day at Sunrise is filled with fun, friendship, and laughter. Campers enjoy activities ranging from arts and crafts, drama, yoga, S.T.E.A.M (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics), sports, swimming, mini-golf, and music. Our facilities offer both indoor air-conditioned comfort and outdoor open-air shelters, ensuring a pleasant experience for our campers.


Frequently Asked Questions by Parents/Guardians

Each Sunrise Day Camp has a private, air-conditioned Wellness Center. Each camp is supported by a medical director, on-site pediatric oncology nurses and physicians on call. Most medications can be easily administered and ample indoor areas are provided for children to just “cool down.” In the unlikely event of an emergency during the camp day, rapid transportation by ambulance is provided.

It has been our mission from the start to always include the sick child as well as their siblings. 

We understand the toll a diagnosis brings to a family, and siblings are part of it.  

Siblings are often not allowed to play with other children for fear of bringing home germs, nor are they allowed to be free with friends and escape the constant worry often found in a home with a chronically ill child.  There is also the financial strain and often the sibling can’t go to after-school activities because money is tight.

Yes, we provide all of our summer, vacation, year-round and hospital programs completely free of charge to all of our families. While the physical and mental effects of cancer are hard to ignore, we recognize the financial impact and frequent financial hardships this disease has on families. We want to ease the financial stress fighting this disease has on families.

The Sunrise Association currently has 12 in-person camps and one virtual camp  

  • Aurora Day Camp-Atlanta, GA 
  • Horizon Day Camp-Baltimore, MD 
  • Horizon Day Camp-Metro DC|VA|MD 
  • Sunrise Day Camp-Chicago 
  • Sunrise Day Camp-Ft. Lauderdale Sunrise Day Camp-Long Island 
  • Sunrise Day Camp-Pearl River 
  • Sunrise Day Camp-Greater Philadelphia 
  • Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island 
  • Sunrise Israel-Be’er Sheva 
  • Sunrise Israel-Beit Yehoshuah 
  • Sunrise Israel-Ramot Yachanon 
  • SunriseVX

Any children who are present at the hospital during our Wheels program may participate. 

We have a 4:1 ratio.  We also offer 1:1 support as needed.

Our hospital program, Sunrise on Wheels is an innovative program that provides a day filled with Sunrise fun to children awaiting treatment in pediatric oncology units of participating hospitals. Volunteers wheel a rainbow trunk bursting with toys, games, and activities right into many of our affiliated hospitals and change what could have been a bleak and depressing day into a day of camp fun! Year-round programs keep the fun going throughout the year because our kids love camp so much that we just had to extend the fun beyond the summer. 

During the school year, our camp vacation programs, Sundays and Fun-days — are special activity days for our campers.  They include many of the same staff who helped to make their summers so wonderful. Our year-round programs make it possible for our campers to see their friends throughout the year while enjoying summer camp fun all year long. These camp-like activity days include sports, crafts, special shows & programs, delicious snacks and may even include swimming in an indoor pool! Just like summer camp, transportation is available. Some of our year-round programs are family events, where parents and children enjoy the fun-filled festivities together.

Sunrise Day Camps are staffed by counselors, specialists, assistants, and volunteers, ages 17+ specially trained prior to the camp’s opening. Our camps’ on-site Directors have extensive experience with children and camping, and our staff-to-camper ratio often exceeds 1:4, assuring that every need of our campers are accommodated. 

All of our staff comes from many different backgrounds, with one common goal: to make their time with our children the happiest it can be. 

After their experience at our camps, many of our counselors choose a new or decide to change their career goals to health-related fields.

Sunrise Day Camps are within driving distance of its local communities and surrounding areas. We encourage parents to drive their children to and from camp, in order to limit their time on buses and keep them in the most comfortable environment. If driving is not an option, free bus transportation is available from select locations. Additional special transportation arrangements can be worked out to accommodate the different needs of families.

Sunrise Day Camps are full-summer day camps and vacation camps, Monday through Friday, from approximately 9:30AM–3:45PM (excluding transportation times). Please check with your individual camp for start and end dates as these vary by location. We have a flexible attendance policy and campers may sign up for any or all days the program is offered depending on their schedule, and special accommodations can easily be made depending on when a child is able to attend. 

At Sunrise, we recognize that children may not be able to attend camp every day, and so our program is designed to assure that no one “misses out” because of an absence. To accommodate working parents, extended hours are available from about 7:30AM to as late as 6:30PM.   

We recognize that our regular day may be a long one for preschoolers. For our preschoolers, Sunrise offers a modified program specially geared to their age. 

Days and hours may vary by site.

One of the great advantages of day camps is that children can bring their own yummy lunches from home, so they never have to wonder about what’s on the menu for that day (of course, we’ll refrigerate it). But that’s all they need to bring, since we provide several snacks during the day as well as juice and other drinks whenever needed. Need something special? No problem! Just let us know and we’ll get it. In our commitment to provide a safe environment for all children, our camps are nut-aware facilities, meaning that we will not knowingly serve any foods with nuts and we request that all parents do the same.

There are so many different ways that you can help and give back.  We need volunteers, committee members, sponsors and so much more.  Click here for more information.